Dominion Road

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Dominion Road
Length7.3 km (4.5 mi)
LocationAuckland, New Zealand
Postal code1024 (north of Balmoral Road)
1041 (south of Balmoral Road)
North endIan McKinnon Drive/New North Road
State Highway 20 NZ.svg SH 20 Southwestern Motorway
South endHillsborough Road

Dominion Road is an arterial road in Auckland, New Zealand, running north-south across most of the central isthmus. It is a major public transport route that carries 50,000 bus passengers each week,[1] making it one of the few roads in Auckland on which similar or greater numbers of people travel by public transport than by private car.[2] It achieved some fame by The Mutton Birds' 1992 song titled "Dominion Road".[3]

The road, which passes through mostly suburban areas (and several town centres), has been described as having a colourful mix of shops, exemplified by areas like the "United Nations of restaurants" around the Balmoral town centre. There are claims that the road's development has been held back by uncertainty about future roading / public transport development plans for the last decade, which prevented investment certainty, and led to low shop rents.[4]


The southern end of Ian McKinnon Drive, where it becomes Dominion Road.
Dominion Road in the 1900s, showing its origins as a typical "tram era" street.[5]

The road begins in Eden Terrace as a continuation of Ian McKinnon Drive, which itself begins at upper Queen Street. Ian McKinnon Drive becomes Dominion Road south of a grade-separated intersection over New North Road (grade separation of non-motorway intersections is rare in Auckland). The road then continues in a straight line for almost 6 kilometres (the longest straight stretch of road on the Auckland Isthmus), going through the suburbs of Mt Eden, Balmoral and Mt Roskill until bending slightly just before its intersection with Richardson Road at the Mt Roskill South Shops. Dominion Road Extension then continues until it ends at Hillsborough Road in Waikowhai, overlooking the Manukau Harbour on the southern side of the Auckland isthmus.

1960s motorway proposal[edit]

Dominion Road, in the extremely car-centric transport plans for Auckland of the 1950s and 1960s, featured as a proposed new motorway route south from the CBD.[6] However, with the exception of the oversized Ian McKinnon Drive / New North Road interchange, this proposal never came to pass. In 2014 a proposal was made to demolish the interchange.[7]

2010s public transport upgrade proposal[edit]

In late 2010, a proposed Council upgrade to the road, which was to focus on improving public transport and cycling links (via 24/7 bus lanes and cycle lanes), created substantial public debate.[4] Conflicting views existed on whether the necessary removal of parking (a good part of which was to be reinstated in side roads as extra angle parking) would significantly harm the road, reducing amenity for locals, and endangering the street's shops. Further heavily criticised was the concurrent proposal by the Citizens & Ratepayers-dominated Council to remove the bus lanes and replace them with transit lanes allowing cars.

The proposed upgrade was eventually tabled to be revisited only after the elections creating the first unified Auckland Council.[2] The new Council decided in 2011 to proceed with a less extensive plan that would provide only some extensions and upgrades of bus lanes and cycling facilities, and would retain parking in the bus lanes outside of peak hours, a move that was applauded by some local business owners. Road widening designations, and previous Council land purchases worth about $20 million, that would have allowed for the more extensive works will partially be lifted / sold around 2012, as soon as the extent of the new scheme is known.[4]

Rapid transit plans[edit]

In January 2015 Auckland Transport initiated a study of building new rapid transit routes to replace buses on some of its most heavily used bus routes.[8][9][10][11][12][13] Dominion Road was one of the six rapid transit routes being studied that had originally been routes on Auckland's old tram network.

Mutton Birds song[edit]

Unofficial Plaque marking halfway point along Dominion Road in Auckland, New Zealand.

Dominion Road was immortalised in song in 1992 by Don McGlashan, the song being recorded by his band, The Mutton Birds. The song caused some local debate for its reference to "a halfway house half way down Dominion Road". While the house is no doubt fictional, the line caused many New Zealander to wonder exactly where "halfway down Dominion Road" is, as an extension has been built to this road. However, the extension was built after the song was written.

The song's music video suggests that halfway down Dominion Road is the intersection of Peary Road and Dominion Road, and much of the video's footage shows the area between the road's Balmoral shops and Mt. Roskill shops. In 2013 an unofficial brass plaque was placed in the footpath by an anonymous artist to mark the halfway point along the road[14]

Major intersections[edit]

Local Board Suburb km jct Destinations Notes
Waitemata Eden Terrace 0.0 Ian McKinnon Drive Dominion Road begins
0.2 Australia GE2-3.svg New North Road (east) Northbound exit and southbound entrance only
Albert–Eden Mount Eden 0.5 New Zealand road sign W10-4.svg View Road
New Zealand road sign W10-4.svg George Street
0.9 New Zealand road sign W10-4.svg Valley Road
Walters Road
2.2 New Zealand road sign W10-4.svg Balmoral Road (east) – Remuera
Balmoral Road (west) – Western Springs
3.2 New Zealand PW-11 (left).svg Landscape Road
Puketapapa Mount Roskill
4.2 New Zealand road sign W10-4.svg Mount Albert Road (east) – Three Kings, Royal Oak
Mount Albert Road (west) – Mount Albert
4.8 New Zealand road sign W11-1.svg Denbigh Avenue
4.9 New Zealand road sign W10-4.svg SH 20 south (Southwestern Motorway) – Manukau, Airport
5.0 New Zealand road sign W10-4.svg SH 20 north (Southwestern Motorway) – Waitakere
6.0 New Zealand road sign W11-1.svg Richardson Road (east) – Hillsborough
Richardson Road (west) – New Lynn
7.3 New Zealand road sign R2-2.svg Hillsborough Road (east) – Hillsborough
Hillsborough Road (west) – Lynfield, Blockhouse Bay
Dominion Road ends


  1. ^ "Dominion Road 2016". Auckland City Council. Archived from the original on 5 April 2005. Retrieved 22 November 2008.
  2. ^ a b Dearnaley, Mathew (22 December 2010). "Push for bus lanes in centre of road". The New Zealand Herald. Retrieved 5 January 2011.
  3. ^
  4. ^ a b c "The Big D". Aucklander. 28 July 2011.
  5. ^ "Dominion Road". Te Ara: The Encyclopedia of New Zealand. Ministry for Culture and Heritage / Te Manatū Taonga. Retrieved 5 January 2011.
  6. ^ Mees, Paul; Dodson, Jago (1 February 2001). "The American Heresy: Half a century of transport planning in Auckland". Presentation to joint conference of New Zealand Geographical Society / Australian Institute of Geographers conference, University of Otago, Dunedin. Urban Planning Program, Faculty of Architecture, Building & Planning, University of Melbourne. Retrieved 9 February 2011.
  7. ^ Dearnaley, Mathew (1 December 2014). "Proposal to clear Auckland flyover for housing". The New Zealand Herald. Retrieved 1 December 2014.
  8. ^ Maria Slade (23 January 2015). "Len Brown cool on light rail in Auckland transport plan". Retrieved 28 January 2015. Auckland Transport (AT) says bus routes in the central city and along main roads such as Dominion Road and Manukau Road are at near capacity, and light rail is the most practical solution.
  9. ^ Mathew Dearnaley (23 January 2015). "Light rail returns to the spotlight". New Zealand Herald. Retrieved 28 January 2015. The city's transport authority has revealed it is investigating replacing buses with electric light rail on a handful of busy isthmus routes such as Symonds St, Mt Eden Rd, Dominion Rd and Sandringham Rd – all part of a 72km tram network before their tracks were ripped up in 1956.
  10. ^ Wayne Thompson (25 January 2015). "From apps to zones: Is this how we get city moving?". New Zealand Herald. Retrieved 27 January 2015. Auckland Transport has also pitched light rail for some highly congested bus routes. Light rail, or trams, on a priority path could shift 18,000 people an hour compared with a bus on a shared path shifting 2500 people and a bus on a priority path's 6000 people an hour.
  11. ^ Sandy Smith (27 January 2015). "Beijing to Add Four More Metro Lines". Next City. Retrieved 27 January 2015. The transportation agency in New Zealand's largest city, Auckland, is taking the first steps toward returning trams to a number of city streets that last saw them in the 1950s.
  12. ^ Keith Barrett (23 January 2015). "Auckland to launch light rail study". International Railway Journal. Retrieved 27 January 2015. THE board of Auckland Transport has called for studies to be carried out into the construction of a light rail network in New Zealand's largest city.
  13. ^ "Light rail gets thumbs up from opposition". 3 News. 24 January 2015. Retrieved 27 January 2015. Auckland Transport says it's investigating whether light rail on Queen St, Symonds St, Sandringham Rd, Dominion Rd, Mt Eden Rd and Manukau Rd is a good alternative to buses. Most of those routes had trams running on them before they were removed in the 1950s.
  14. ^ Whittaker, Emma (10 April 2013). "Dominion Rd plaque lauded". Central Leader. Retrieved 28 February 2014.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 36°53′48″S 174°44′39″E / 36.8968°S 174.7443°E / -36.8968; 174.7443